at the Havana Gallery-Café, Vancouver, B.C.
February 24-27, 1999, 8:00 P.M.
by Bud McNeely.
Safe Sex is an unconventional play artistically directed by David Diamond. There are no players except for about ten volunteers from the audience. Diamond explains to the audience from the top that the play has no script, no actors, and needs volunteers from the audience to make it go. Along with Diamond and his group of volunteers, the audience was encouraged to be interactively involved around the topic of safe sex.
The situation being staged is that of a pair of friends entering into negotiations about the iniation of safe sex between them.Fears, doubts and inner voices begin to enter the scene. There are two characters in the story, but Diamond has solicited about ten performers from the crowd.
But what's wrong with the math here? Well there's the two would-be sex mates. That's two, now multiply by three to allow for; inner voices, desires, and fears. We're up to about six characters on stage now.
These characters are regularly frozen and slightly adjusted for poses of fear, fantasy, and questions or doubts. If this is sounding a bit vague, then you are right . "Vague" was uttered regularly throughout this interesting show by David Diamond. The audience laughed many times; an innovative "bed" was hanged vertically at centre stage, giving the want -to- be sex partners a 2.5 dimensional love-making base. Incidentally, there is no sex in the show, but the bed did become very crowded with horny, confused, and sometimes "afraid" segments of the key characters spread out on or near the bed.
The crowded bed angle makes me think of the multiplicity of people one can sleep with when they decide to take a new lover. I speak of the "text book" safe sex considerations we should all be studying and acting on in this day and age. I realize that Diamond is leading us much deeper than that.
If Safe Sex plays near you, go see it, participate and you'll help to create a new play on the spot. David Diamond and company are doing that at each new performance. It's the nineties already. Get interactive!